Factors that contribute to effective online nutrition education interventions: A systematic review

Mary W. Murimi, Bong Nguyen, Ana F. Moyeda-Carabaza, Hyun Jung Lee, Oak Hee Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Context: The use of the internet and technology as a medium for delivering online nutrition education (ONE) has increased; however, evidence-based studies exploring factors that contribute to best practices in online interventions have not emerged. Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to identify factors that contributed to successful ONE interventions in relation to research studies published between 2009 and 2018. Data sources: Following the PRISMA guidelines, relevant studies were identified through PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, Science Direct, and Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) databases. Data extraction: Five authors screened and determined the quality of the studies using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system and extracted the data from the articles. Data analysis: Twenty-seven studies were included: 21 studies were website-based, 3 were delivered through smartphone application, 2 were delivered as online courses, and 1 used text messages. Tailored messages/feedback, interaction between participants and investigators, identification of specific behaviors, use theory, adequate duration, and alignment between stated objectives and activities were factors that contributed to successful online interventions, while comparison bias and the lack of specific details on duration and dosage, tracking system, objective outcome measurements, and follow-up were factors that may have interfered with successful ONE interventions. Conclusions: The findings underscore the importance of developing ONE intervention designs that utilize factors unique to online platforms for effective interventions aimed at behavior change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-690
Number of pages28
JournalNutrition Reviews
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • interventions
  • nutrition education
  • online interventions


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